By: Mike Maher, Co-Founder of Taylor Stitch
How One Small Business Uses Apps To Run Their Business
Custom-made clothing is making a comeback. Taylor Stitch, the small independent men’s clothing company I co-founded is bringing the age-old tradition of made to order clothing to a new generation. Barrett (one of the co-founders) and I launched Taylor Stitch after unsuccessfully searching the market for affordable, well constructed shirts that fit us properly. While we launched with only an offering of custom tailored shirts, we have evolved to include a continuously growing collection of men's clothing and accessories.
We initially launched an eCommerce site with Shopify, and after a very successful 8 months we decided to open a brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco. When we opened the brick and mortar store we had to implement a POS system to manage customer relationships as they are the lifeblood of our business. We found Vend, a reasonably priced, good-looking, and easy to use POS that tied in-store inventory to eCommerce inventory.
As any small business owner knows, managing your financials is critical to the success of your business. It is rarely the most exciting task to conquer, but it is one of the most important, and doing it with little accounting or finance background can be really difficult. Thus, we turned to an accounting software app that allows us real-time insight into our financials, including invoicing and billing data. The app also automatically uploads our banking transactions, allowing us to reconcile bank and credit card statements. It is so easy to use, that we’ve yet to hire a book keeper.
Running a successful business is never easy, but with the dream team of apps – the shopping, POS, and accounting app, things are a lot less complicated. The three apps are seamlessly integrated, sharing all data and communication amongst each other which makes our lives a lot easier. Unlike traditional retail systems, these apps connect together, coordinating our offline and online sales, customer details and inventory items.
When a sale is completed, whether online or in-store, the information is uploaded from the POS or shopping app right into the accounting app with the click of a button. Additionally, because they all operate in the cloud, we have access to all inventory, sales, and financial information anytime, anywhere, and that has been invaluable to our success. If we are traveling or away from the office for business, we still have constant access to the vitals of our business.
Most importantly, using the three apps has truly allowed us to focus on the business of our business. Rather than having to focus on data entry for inventory, or customer and financial information, we can look ahead at next season and focus on what styles and materials we want to use. With the time we’ve saved using these apps, we can focus on the things that inspired us to start our company – the clothing.